Documents show Hodgenville mayor, city clerk filling up personal cars with city cards
HODGENVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Prosecutors say pictures and receipts catch Hodgenville's Mayor and City Clerk stealing from taxpayers red-handed.
The Circle K off Lincoln Boulevard became the epicenter of Hodgenville's small-town scandal, in which Mayor Terry Cruse and City Clerk Madonna Hornback are accused of stealing from taxpayers for nearly two years.
WDRB News found the pictures and receipts in newly released court records dating back to 2011.
The documents appear to show the city leaders not only filling up their own personal vehicles but letting their family members do the same, as taxpayers paid the bill.
That's not all.
Records appear to show Cruse and Hornback are paying for gas on city credit cards, then turning in fuel receipts and being reimbursed for their mileage.
Prosecutors say they're double dipping, stealing from the taxpayers twice.
Here are some examples: one piece of evidence marked July 19, 2012, Hornback and her son appear to fill up side-by-side in personal vehicles using her city gas card.
Another surveillance image from June 2012 shows Mayor Cruse's White Chevy filling up for $79.34.
But when officers raided the Mayor's office they found the exact same receipt with the Mayor's initials, calling it a dump truck purchase.
The auditor found descriptions on the Mayors' receipts did not match the surveillance images at least nine times. The bills quickly added up.
The auditor found Clerk Hornback had 556 fuel transaction on her city gas card worth more than $22,000 in 18 months.
Cruse's bill is more than $10,000.
Many of the purchases happened on weekends, late at night, sometimes two or three times a day.
The receipts also tell us how the case broke open with the gas station clerks keeping track of the suspicious purchases and making notes on the side.
Mayor Cruse and Clerk Hornback's attorney declined to comment on camera Thursday. But he did tell WDRB's Gilbert Corsey he's filed a motion to block the material seized in the search warrant from getting in the case -- trying to keep the aforementioned pictures and receipts from ever seeing the jury.
Hornback was indicted on 54 counts of abusing public trust and theft.
Cruse faces nine counts of abusing public trust, theft and a campaign finance violation.
Both have pleaded not guilty.
Mayor Cruse and Hornback are still on the job.
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